Nvidia RTX 4080 Super review: $999 is the main feature

Nvidia’s RTX 4080 Super is the third and potentially final of Nvidia’s refreshed 40-series GPUs. The RTX 4070 Super got a significant performance boost, the RTX 4070 Ti Super got a smaller bump, and the RTX 4080 Super barely gets faster at all. But it is $200 cheaper than the RTX 4080, which changes the game a bit.

Nvidia’s RTX 4080 Super is the only new RTX 40-series Super GPU that drops the price over the original card it’s replacing. At $999, it’s $200 less than the eye-watering $1,199 MSRP of the RTX 4080, which often sells for even more. A price cut is certainly welcome, but not much has changed in terms of performance. The RTX 4080 Super is around 3–4 percent faster than the RTX 4080, which means the RTX 4090 is still the reigning performance champion. You’ll now have to pay at least $600 more on top of the RTX 4080 Super if you want Nvidia’s best GPU for 4K, with the RTX 4090 offering around 25 percent higher frame rates at that resolution.

The RTX 4080 Super also puts the $799 pricing of the RTX 4070 Ti Super in an even tougher spot, especially as you get nearly 20 percent improved performance for an extra $200 with this latest card. But the $999 pricing of the RTX 4080 Super is still a lot of money for a GPU. The closest competition is AMD’s $999 Radeon RX 7900 XTX, which trades blows with Nvidia’s RTX 4080 Super.

We’ve already seen AMD respond to the RTX 4070 Ti Super by bringing its RX 7900 XT from $899 to $749, though who knows for how long. The RX 7900 XTX is still at $999, and how long that pricing holds will depend on whether you can easily buy an RTX 4080 Super at $999.

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Hardware

If you place the RTX 4080 and RTX 4080 Super Founders Edition cards side by side, there’s little difference between the two. Nvidia now uses a darker alloy across the entire RTX 4080 Super, but the GPU is still huge. It’s still the same size as an RTX 4090, which surprised me when I reviewed the original RTX 4080.

Nvidia hasn’t changed the fan layout or cooling here, so there’s a seven-blade fan on either side of this three-slot design. The RTX 4080 Super Founders Edition looks more chunky than it is long at 304 mm, but you might still need to check that your case can house this card — particularly third-party ones that will ship in a variety of designs and sizes.

The RTX 4080 Super comes in a much darker alloy.

I personally prefer the space gray look of the original RTX 4080, but I’m sure many will enjoy the fact that the Founders Edition RTX 4080 Super is now essentially a black GPU. It’s a surprise departure from the silver / space gray aesthetics that we’ve seen on every RTX card so far. I do wonder if it will signal a move to black and white variants for future Founders Edition cards, particularly when most PC cases ship in black or white options.

At the rear, there are the usual three DisplayPort 1.4 ports (up to 240Hz at 4K with DSC) and a single HDMI 2.1 port (up to 60Hz at 8K with DSC). There’s no DisplayPort 2.1 support here, but given most of the 240Hz 4K OLED panels that are hitting the market are doing so with DSC enabled and no DisplayPort 2.1, it’s less of an immediate issue. I do hope Nvidia moves to DisplayPort 2.1 with its next-gen cards, though.

The RTX 4080 Super also continues the RTX 40-series tradition of requiring a single 12-pin PCIe 5 connector. There’s a 12VHPWR adapter cable included in the box, which you’ll need to connect to three regular eight-pin PCIe power cables. I’ve made it clear plenty of times that I hate this bulky and ugly adapter, and I never use it on my personal builds. If you’re lucky enough to have an ATX 3.0 power supply, then you can use a single cable, or there are plenty of options from companies like CableMod to let you convert a variety of PCIe power cables into a single 12VHPWR cable without all the bulk.

I’m happy to see that Nvidia was able to eke out a bit more performance without bumping the power requirements. Nvidia still recommends at least a 750W PSUthe RTX 4080 Super can draw up to 320 watts of power, though, on average, it should use just shy of 250 watts during gaming. The only slight change here is that the RTX 4080 Super now idles at 15 watts instead of 13 watts on the original RTX 4080.

The RTX 4080 Super still ships with the same 16GB of VRAM found on the RTX 4080 but with 736GB/s of bandwidth instead of the 717GB/s found on the RTX 4080. Nvidia has also slightly bumped the base and boost clocks of the RTX 4080 Super and increased the CUDA core count to 10,240 from 9,728.

1440p benchmarks

For 1440p testing, I paired the RTX 4080 Super with AMD’s latest Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor and Samsung’s 32-inch G7 monitor. This monitor supports refresh rates up to 240Hz as well as Nvidia’s G-Sync technology.

I put the RTX 4080 Super head-to-head with the RTX 4080, RTX 4090, AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 XT, and the RX 7900 XT. AMD’s RX 7900 XTX is the closet in both performance and price, with the RTX 4070 Ti Super $200 less and the RTX 4090 $600 more.

I’ve tested a variety of AAA games at high or ultra settings, including a mix of ray tracing, DLSS, and some older titles that still push modern graphics cards in 2024.

The RTX 4080 Super breezes through 1440p and is able to exceed 100fps in every test apart from Metro Exodus Enhanced running on extreme settings. The RTX 4090 is the only GPU I’ve tested that manages to comfortably exceed 100fps in this same test.

The RTX 4080 Super is around 3 percent faster than the original RTX 4080 at 1440p. That’s barely an improvement, and it’s similar to what the RTX 2080 Super demonstrated over the RTX 2080 back when Nvidia last used its Super branding.

The RTX 4080 Super does trade blows with the RX 7900 XTX in some games, with Gears 5 and Returnal running better on AMD’s top card. Performance will vary depending on what games you’re playing, with Nvidia’s card offering up superior ray-tracing performance thanks to widespread DLSS support softening the blow.

While the RTX 4080 Super loses out to the RX 7900 XTX on Forza Horizon 5 with upscaling disabled, as soon as you enable it, the RTX 4080 Super with DLSS 3 is about 20 percent faster — even with FSR 2.2 enabled on AMD’s card. That’s been a common theme in RTX 30- and 40-series cards, with Nvidia beating AMD on both ray tracing and upscaling techniques. Usually, you pay more for these features, but with the RTX 4080 Super priced at $999, it will surely put pressure on AMD’s top card.

You’re also getting around 17 percent better 1440p performance on the RTX 4080 Super over the RTX 4070 Ti Super for that extra $200.

The RTX 4080 Super has the usual 3x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI connectors.

4K benchmarks

For 4K gaming, I tested the RTX 4080 Super with Acer’s 31.5-inch Nitro XV2 monitor. This monitor supports refresh rates up to 144Hz. You’re still not going to get close to maxing out a 144Hz 4K monitor with the RTX 4080 Super, much less the 240Hz OLED panels that are coming throughout 2024. If you’re willing to drop settings down from the very max, this will certainly help hit those higher rates.

The RTX 4080 Super still delivers a great 4K experience, though. Every game hit 60fps, or above average, with the exception of Metro Exodus Enhanced on extreme settings. It still came close, though, at 54fps, and only the RTX 4090 manages to go above 60fps at 4K — and you’re going to have to pay an extra $600 for that.

At 4K resolution, the RTX 4080 Super is around 4 percent faster than the RTX 4080 it replaces. The RTX 4090 is still about 25 percent faster at 4K gaming, and it’s clear that Nvidia didn’t want to close that performance gap too much here to give deep-pocketed gamers some reason to cough up an extra $600 for the RTX 4090.

More interestingly, the extra $200 over the RTX 4070 Ti Super gets you nearly 20 percent better performance at 4K.

DLSS 3 helps improve 4K performance on the RTX 4080 Super, as you’d expect to see, but really, there’s not much change in raw power here at pure rasterization.

The main feature of the RTX 4080 Super is its improved price.

Conclusion

The best feature of the RTX 4080 Super is its price. If you’ve been holding off upgrading to 4K or you’re eyeing a new 4K OLED monitor, the RTX 4080 Super certainly makes a lot more sense than stretching to $1,599 or, in reality, far more for the RTX 4090.

Now that the trio of RTX 40-series Super cards is complete, we have a better idea of which card is best suited to the varied budgets and requirements of PC gamers. I’m still most impressed by the RTX 4070 Super simply because it got an impressive performance boost over the RTX 4070 at the same price. Sure, it still only has 12GB of VRAM, but it feels like a good option for 1440p.

I’m still confused by the RTX 4070 Ti Super’s pricing at $799, particularly because you can drop to the $599 RTX 4070 Super and save some cash for 1440p gaming or spend $200 more on the RTX 4080 Super and get nearly 20 percent better 4K performance.

The RTX 4080 Super is an ideal card if you’re moving to 4K, but only if the price holds right. I just hope that this $999 pricing actually sticks. I’d still like to see it at well under $1,000, but given the competition is still selling $999 RX 7900 XTX cards, I’m not surprised Nvidia hasn’t dropped further.

Photography by Tom Warren / The Verge

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